No Plan to Increase Water Prices

No Plan to Increase Water PricesNo Plan to Increase Water Prices

The government has not made a decision yet to increase water prices, despite the enormous water consumption nationwide, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said, Tasnim News Agency reported on Saturday.

"There are currently no plans to increase water prices for residential, industrial and agriculture sectors," Chitchian said on the sidelines of the National Exhibition of Water, Soil and Environment Technologies in Tehran.

Inexpensive tariffs have led to wasteful use of this critical resource, according to the minister. He added that given the present prices, there will be no prospect of improving water efficiency in any of the three sectors.

He stressed that advanced irrigation systems should be implemented "only when consumers pay real prices."

According to Iran’s Meteorological Organization, average precipitation during the latest crop season has dropped by an alarming 7.3 percent compared to past seasons. In addition, the country’s outdated farming practices use 90 percent of Iran’s water resources, raising questions over wasteful irrigation methods.

Chitchian stressed the need to revise water prices and said profligate water use will not be curbed by "merely encouraging consumers to curb consumption.

According to published reports, precipitation in the September-March period declined by 15 percent compared to the same period last year, while downpours have declined by 17 percent compared to the past 47 years.

Iran has an annual average precipitation of 252 millimeters, which is approximately one third of the global average.